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World AIDS Day on December 1
STAFF REPORTER
 GUWAHATI, Nov 28 - Like in previous years, the Assam State AIDS Control Society (ASACS) will observe World AIDS Day at the State and district levels on December 1.

The State-level function will be held in the Sri Sri Madhabdev International Auditorium here at 10.30 am, informed Samir Sinha, Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare department.

Project Director of ASACS Varnali Deka informed that the function will be preceded by a rally from the ASACS office premises, Khanapara, at 8.30 am. At the district level, HIV/AIDS awareness meetings will be organised by the district health societies.

Statistics released by the ASACS here today stated that although Assam is categorised as a low HIV-prevalence state with an estimated adult HIV prevalence of 0.06% – which is lower than the national prevalence of 0.26% – the adult HIV prevalence in the State has increased from 0.04% in 2007 to 0.06% in 2015.

It is estimated that Assam had 928 new HIV infections in 2015 (NACO Technical Report 2015). The report also states that Assam had an estimated 12,090 people living with HIV (PLHA) in 2015.

The statement also referred to evidence which shows that the HIV menace in the State is concentrated among the high-risk group populations of female sex workers (FSW), men having sex with men (MSM) and injecting drug users (IDU).

The HIV Sentinel Surveillance (HSS) data of 2017 rounds further shows that HIV infection in the State is concentrated among high risk groups – MSM (2.40%), IDU (0.69%) and FSW (0.21%) – while HIV prevalence among ANC clinic attendees, considered proxy for general population, is low at 0.16%.

Considering that, there may be a possible role of bridge populations like Long Distant Truckers (LDT) and Single Male Migrant (SMM) in the spread of infection to the general population, LDT and SMM HIV Sentinel site were included during HSS 2017, where it is seen that prevalence among LDT is 2.80 per cent while SMM is 0.00 per cent.

National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) data shows that Assam has been able to test 35,19,170 persons (12,62,601 General Clients and 2256569 Pregnant Women) and detected 13,946 number of cases as HIV-positive, out of which 12,737 are general clients and 1209 are pregnant women, while 4.62 per cent of the detected cases are children.

District-wise analysis of the detected HIV cases shows that, the maximum number of cases have been identified in Kamrup Metro (35 per cent) while 23 per cent are detected in Cachar. Similarly, the northeastern part of India comprises some high HIV-prevalence states and some low HIV-prevalence ones. Manipur has shown the highest estimated adult HIV prevalence in the country at 1.15% in 2015.

The other high-prevalence states in the region include Mizoram (0.80%) and Nagaland (0.78%).

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